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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

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Unresolved trauma can be veryTherapist holds up fingers before doing eye movement desensitization and reprocessing with traumatized patient disruptive to a person’s life and lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and addiction. A proven method for treating past or recent traumas is a type of behavioral therapy called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). This type of therapy works by breaking the association between the traumatic memories and the negative behaviors and physical sensations it creates using visual and auditory distractions.  

Outreach Recovery has several locations along the East Coast to aid anyone who is struggling with substance use disorder or PTSD caused by unresolved trauma. Our therapists have experience treating all types of trauma using a combination of behavioral and holistic therapies along with medical support to ease disruptive symptoms. Each program is tailored to the individual and includes group and private therapy sessions held remotely or at one of our discreet facilities. To speak with our team about our trauma treatment programs, call 866.394.5007 or send us an email today. 

What Is an EMDR Program? 

In the United States, most adults have experienced some form of trauma in their lives. Trauma can cause an intense emotional response to a tragic or dangerous event, including the following: 

  • Sudden death of a loved one 
  • Natural disasters 
  • Experiencing combat or personal violence 
  • Physical or sexual abuse  

As a natural defense mechanism, you may unintentionally suppress those memories because they are too intense to deal with.  

How Does EMDR Work? 

An eye movement desensitization and reprocessing program focuses on the direct memory that triggers the patient’s symptoms. Therapists work directly with each patient to identify the trauma and use various distraction techniques to retrain the brain in how it recalls the traumatic event. This process can stop symptoms of severe anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares, and other symptoms when triggered by changing the way the brain responds to those memories. There are usually six to twelve sessions per program, with one or two sessions per week. Each session lasts between 60-90 minutes and includes eight individual steps.  

Outreach Recovery provides patients with unresolved trauma with an EMDR psychotherapy program that focuses on the specific trauma behind their symptoms. Our therapy programs include a wide range of behavioral and holistic therapy sessions along with medical support to ease any withdrawals, cravings, or other harmful symptoms.  

What to Expect from an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Program 

EMDR treatment is different than other behavioral therapies as it focuses on specific memories of a single traumatic event. The program contains eight individual steps that therapists follow to help patients process their trauma in a healthy manner. The eight steps of an EMDR program include: 

History Taking and Treatment Planning 

To begin, therapists will gather the full patient history by conducting a physical and mental health assessment to determine the severity of symptoms and origination of the trauma. They will target specific memories, their triggers, and the goals of the program. 


Therapists will go over the treatment plan with the patient and practice eye movements and other components of the program. They will ensure the patient feels comfortable with the procedure and answer any questions they may have about the individual steps.  


Patients will begin recalling specific memories that are being targeted in the session. Therapists will guide them toward identifying individual components of the memory that can include imagery, cognition, and bodily sensations.  


In the fourth stage of EMDR treatment, patients will focus on their traumatic memories while engaging in various eye movements using visual stimulation or audio cues. This process allows patients to recall the memories without experiencing intense emotions or physical reactions. This step will continue until the targeted memory no longer causes any distress.  


This step strengthens the desensitization methods used until the patient feels confident in recalling the event and no longer feels any anxiety, depression, or cravings for drugs or alcohol.  

Body Scan 

Patients learn to identify any physical reactions, such as drug and alcohol cravings or the start of a panic attack when recalling the traumatic event. They tell the therapist how it makes them feel and begin using desensitization techniques to break the association between the memory and the physical reaction.  


At the end of the session, the patient and therapist discuss the session and the techniques used. If the memories are still causing an intense reaction, patients are taught coping techniques for managing their symptoms and emotions until the next session.  


The final step of an EMDR psychotherapy program is the beginning of the next session. Therapists will evaluate the patient’s mental state, discuss any new sensations or memories that emerged since the last session, and identify the targeted memories for the new session.  

Find Comprehensive Trauma Treatment at Outreach Recovery 

Outreach Recovery is a full-service outpatient treatment facility that welcomes men and women who are struggling with traumatic experiences that cause PTSD, addiction, or other mental health disorders. In addition to eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, treatment programs can include other types of behavioral therapies, such as: 

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) 
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) 
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) 
  • Motivational interviewing (MI) 

Discover the benefits of treating trauma through EMDR and other behavioral therapies by reaching out. 

Call Outreach Recovery Today to Discover EMDR  

Call Outreach Recovery at 866.394.5007 today or reach out online to schedule a tour and meet our dedicated team. We are here to help you process and heal from any unresolved trauma you may be experiencing. Let us help you take the first step towards a healthier and happier life. Learn more about our comprehensive treatment plans and how we can help you on your journey to recovery. Do not let past traumas control your life any longer.